Noida or New Okhla industrial development authority will on Tuesday celebrate its 37th foundation day. The city came into being as an industrial hub in 1976. But the townshipon the capital’s eastern edge has since transformed into a housing destination.
Road linkssuch DND, Greater Noida Expressway, besides Metro have helped people move toNoida. There are a number of top schools, colleges, hospitals, golf courses,hotels, IT/BPO units, a Film City and an F1 racingtrack.
The government has planned an aviation hub at Jevar and is spending Rs 10,000crore on infrastructure development. New Metro lines, highways, elevated roadsand bridges, and about 300,000 houses are being built.
But amid all this, industrial development has taken a back seat. Industry players say in 2010-11 319 units shut operations in Noida and Greater Noida. In 2009-10, thenumber was 205. In 2009-10, 1,610 new units came up. But in the last financialyear, only 1,360 units were set up. Poor power supply and deteriorating law andorder remained the main issues.
“The authority has failed to keep pace with the rapid demographic changes and could not put inplace adequate infrastructure,” said a town planner, now retired. “The state governmenthas asked for a list of five projects which can be taken up on a prioritybasis. We hope the new government will help solve the major problems here,”said a top authority official.
Residents sayrising pollution and deteriorating law and order are a major concern. Traffic hasgone haywire. Stray animals are a menace. Drinking water has never been drinkable.In the absence of a proper solid waste management system, cleanliness is alwaysan issue.
“Noida could have been the showcase of UP. It could have been another Chandigarh to be proud of. But it’s a story of missed opportunities. Parts of Noida are well maintained,but most of the mohallas have even today the appearance of a village. Shopshave come up, business is thriving, but the roads have potholes, the drains arestinking and there is garbage littered all around,” said Prakash Singh, formerpolice chief of Uttar Pradesh and now a resident of Noida.
Sector 18 had initially aroused great expectations. It was thought the place would give atough competition to Delhi’sfashionable markets. “Atta should havebeen Noida’s Connaught Placeor Rajiv Chowk. It is the most frequented market, bustling with people everyevening. However, it is a picture of chaos. More than half the road is used forparking. All kinds of unauthorised vendors have occupied the pavements. Thereis filth all over the place. Drains give a foul smell,” he said.
Vimla Batham a woman entrepreneur and a resident of Noida since 1977, said, “A lot canbe done.” Sanjay Bakshi, vice-president with an insurance company and aresident of ATS Greens in sector 93A, said, “Civic amenities need to improve.”
Gautam Budh Nagar, comprising the twin cities of Noida-Greater Noida and Yamuna township,has a population of about 1.7 million. The district gives anannual revenue ofRs. 10,000 crore to the state and the centre. There are 15,000 industrial unitsin the two cities while annual per capita income is Rs. 20,000. Butinfrastructure development has failed to keep pace with all this.
* Wide roads
* Shopping malls
* Sector 18 commercial complex
* Metro Rail
* Flyovers and underpass
* Well developed parks
* Noida stadium
* Poor security
* Poor water quality
* Choked, overflowing sewer system
* Erratic power supply
* Rising pollution
* Poor intra-city connectivity
* Haywire traffic